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05 April 2015


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Ex-PFC Chuck

The people of the American west are beginning to pay for their ancestors' failure to listen to John Wesley Powell, who advocated that it not be extensively developed. And to channel Churchill, this is most likely just the beginning of the beginning not the end of the beginning.


This was interesting. But I'll give up now. Strictly I wondered why there were so many comments already and did not check the date. ;)

different clue

Colonel Lang,

One of the things I think just a little bit about when thinking "where to retire" is this: If California basically collapses into a heap of waterless dust and twenty million Californians all flee back East of the Sierra, where would they never ever want to live? What parts of what states would be just too unfashionable for them? UP Michigan? Iowa? Those would be good places for me to retire to then, so I wouldn't have to face a vast flood of Climate Refugees.

ex-PFC Chuck

I recall reading somewhere during the past week that agricultural water use in California isn't even metered. This would be a good time to start.


Some time back I came across a site I can't recall the name of, but I think it was legit. The writer of one article posited that the reason the CIA was hunkered down in Columbia was not because of the drug war, but to secure the water basin.

ex-PFC Chuck

Sorry, Harper, I can't agree. Messing with the saline level of the Arctic Ocean, which is what a diversion on the scale you suggest would do, strikes me as a really bad idea. Ice cover on the Arctic Ocean, or the lack thereof, has a major effect on how much of the solar radiation that strikes its surface during the spring and summer, and determines what percentage of the sun's radiation is absorbed by the planet as opposed to being reflected away. Since detailed measurements of Arctic sea ice extent and volume were begun in 1979, the long term trend in both values has been down, down, down through 2012. You can see this trend clearly in the first and third charts at the blog post linked below. Since a decrease in ice extent and volume means an increase in the absorption of solar energy, the trend in that value has been up, up, up.*

As I understand the current state of climate science, it's largely agreed that an ice-free Arctic Ocean would have a major and disruptive effect on northern hemisphere climate, but that there's considerable disagreement on just what, and how severe, those effects would be. The one other thing that is agreed upon is that it would not be a good idea to do anything that will speed up the downward trend or even let it continue at its current pace.

The intuitive inference that can be made is that a reduction in fresh water input to the ocean will cause it to become more saline, which will lower the freezing point, which will accelerate the rate of ice volume and cover extent beyond what it would otherwise be. In other words it will likely increase the rate of Arctic ice loss with unintended, unknown, but most likely not good, consequences to follow.


* Note that the values have been trending back somewhat upward since the record lows of 2012. But it's too soon to call this a turn around, as opposed to one of the many zigs on the long term zagging path downward.


Japan already has two-way flush toilets that use like 1/3 the water of the 'Murican style. A country the size of Calif + Oregon crammed with half the population of the US. Butt-warmer seats for snow days, too; bidets, and many other advanced technologies in this direction. Someone needs to even up the balance of trade.


Seconded. World organizations predicting water wars in coming decades. G.E.(America's closest thing to a zaibatsu) already has a division working on it, has built a portable bigrig-tractor-semi desalinization model that can be airdropped into any emergency, such as Haiti. Pentagon, GE and others know water will be driving the world in 20 yrs; are planning accordingly.


China building their own canal thru Nicaragua, goood luck. China does not trust America with two burnt matches ever since we weaponized SWIFT. I would not count on any help from that direction; although, you don't asks, you don't gets.



Being from California is becoming a negative thing around here, mainly because they always talk about how great Cali was and try to vote in inane laws to do so. We're seeing the pushback now in Colorado, but Arizona is just too damn hot in the summer without the benefit of the beach for the Californians. We also had the good sense to invest in serious water infrastructure versus "high speed rail" and letting in every 3rd World peasant.

I'm sure you're familiar with similar blue state refugees pulling the same song and dance up in NoVA.


Yes they can, and do.


dilbert dogbert

Please understand the California Water Equation. Northern California produces it, the central valleys use it and Southern California pays for it. Of course we get Colorado River water too.
The plan for urban water rationing is a bit of political theater to prepare the urban population for the increase in taxes to build more storage capacity so farmers can have cheap water.


One more reason why this won't wash:

You're probably not going to get the first nations groups to live along the route to sign off NAWAPA; given that to do so would effectively strip them of their land. You're also not going to get something like NAWAPA built through BC without their consent, either legally or practically.

This is before we get into the nuclear pumping stations that the plan calls for, and the general lunacy of a continental ego-engineering project so California farmers don't have to cut back on their profitable almond crop, or switch to less wasteful irrigation methods.

There's a part of me that loves the idea; it goes back to very early industrial technology, where the earth was to be canalized, even touches on those dreams of the great martian canal networks that were supposed to indicate a vanished (or active) civilization there. It's just not going to happen though.

Bryn P

Good idea, BR, I am sure that some of my relatives over in BC will also be only too happy to be forced to work as 'gong collectors'. After all this was recognised profession in Tudor England - and many of our politicians over here seem happy to keep up the tradition.



Hey! Don't spoil the fun. I remember the California of the late '40s and early '50s. It was a better place. Less people would be good. You can "visit" that time/place in "True Confessions," "Chinatown," and "The Two Jakes. pl


When we lived in Florida for the first time, they use to call it Xeriscaping (no lawn grass). Given the amount of saltwater intrusion into Florida aquifers, even back in the 1990s, it makes all the sense in the world.

Regarding Cali, I think the salient point still is that the vast majority of water usage is industrial and farming. Getting people to not wash their cars is not going to have a drastic positive impact. Having worked in manufacturing for a long time, there is usually not any easy way of modifying a system to use no water (or even just less water). Farmers need water or they need to stop farming. These folks are in a real fix and NOAA predicts the drought is going to last for quite some time.

I'd sign up for a water supply project on a magnificent scale. I would hope that the idea of 'user fees' goes along with it. If your state needs it, you should expect to bear a larger percentage of the cost than folks in, say, New England.


Stop growing almonds.

William R. Cumming

Or be automatically given drinking water when eating out without having to request it!

William R. Cumming

Thanks Grimgrin! And Texans have long eyed a warer pipeline from the GREAT SLAVE LAKE!

Last I heard TEXANS control the USA but not the reverse.

But hey a Canadian and sometime Texan--Ted Cruz--may be the next USA President.

William R. Cumming

Yes Nancy they can and do!

William R. Cumming

Sorry did not read your reply before posting mine.

William R. Cumming

The issue of BLACK MUSLIMS in the USA was never dealt with except that black ranks, officer and enlisted, as opposed to Hispanics and Asians are declining in their active duty numbers since the end of the draft. Please note numbers of blacks and their enrollment numbers in US
service Academies. Perhaps a State Secret?

William R. Cumming


William R. Cumming

And sunflowers!

William R. Cumming

IMO their first target will shortly be revealed as the Uniformed Military. They own the States and their 90,000 units of Local Government!

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